The Criterion

It’s Getting Hot in Here

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In Paris, starting on November 30th, a conference is being held to discuss solutions to climate change. Almost every nation in the world has sent one or more representatives to Paris, over 40,000 in total. This is a topic that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention from the international community, and it is promising that the nations of the world have gathered to discuss the rapidly changing climate of our planet. According to the EPA, the temperature of the globe is rising at a level of .2 degrees Celsius (32.36 degrees Fahrenheit) every decade. This may not seem like a lot, but even a small change in climate can increase the frequency of hurricanes, shorten the length of winter, and raise sea levels. We’ve all seen the pictures of polar bears drifting on tiny icebergs, struggling to survive in their rapidly melting habitats. But the problem of global warming doesn’t just threaten wildlife and the amount of snow-days we get off.

The emissions we send into the atmosphere every day are killing our planet, and the nations of the world have finally seemed to come to terms with this and decided to work together to solve this enormous problem. Some people, mainly the Republicans, believe that global warming doesn’t exist, and that the rising temperatures are simply the Earth going through its natural cycle. While it is true that the climate of the Earth does change over time, it is without question that the massive increase in our use of fossil fuels in the 20th and 21st centuries has has directly impacted the climate of our planet.

The Paris Climate Change Conference is meant to bring the nations of the world together in the effort to reduce climate change. President Barack Obama called for decisive action from the nations of the world, stating the cynicism about climate change is an enemy that they will be facing at the conference. China has already agreed to cut their emission output by the year 2030, but President Narendra Modi of India was sceptical about their ability to be more environmentally friendly and provide power to the 300 million people in his country that live in poverty. As said by npr.org, the United Nations has had trouble getting investors for clean energy projects because of the lack of financial incentive for such risky projects and relative disorganization of the UN. But a group of wealthy individuals headed by Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft, has pledged to support long-term innovations in the energy sector.

A Climate Change Draft has been agreed on by so far, although it is very vague. The draft sets 3 goals; to decrease the global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, to increase their ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and to achieve a sustainable development towards low greenhouse gas emission societies and economies that does not threaten food production and distribution. This conference will hopefully build awareness for climate change and bring climate change and global warming to the forefront of the global agenda.

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The student news site of Bridgeport Central High School
It’s Getting Hot in Here